Yturria named director of RCSD’s public information office

February 2, 2018

By W. Thomas Smith Jr.


COLUMBIA, S.C. – Newly promoted Captain Maria Yturria, Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD), has been named director of the RCSD’s office of public information. She follows Maj. Stephany Snowden, who left the department to become City Manager of Lake City, S.C., earlier this month.

A 15-year veteran of the RCSD who also served eight years in the U.S. Army, Yturria is a recent graduate of the FBI National Academy. Her most recent RCSD position was that of lieutenant with the department’s Victim Services Unit.

Born in Mexico and raised in Los Angeles, Yturria entered the ranks of the RCSD in 2003, initially serving as a reserve deputy, then joining the force full-time; first as a uniformed patrol deputy, then an investigator, before serving in the Victim Services Unit. She also served and continues to serve on the RCSD’s Deputy Advisory Council, as a team leader of the Crisis Management Team, and she coordinates the department’s U-Visa program.

As director of the Public Information Office (PIO) Yturria plans to further the already expanding partnerships between the RCSD and both print and broadcast media across central South Carolina.

“These media partnerships are vital toward advancing and enhancing the Sheriff’s myriad community relations programs,” Yturria says. “Moreover; solid, relevant public information builds public trust and improves the perception of law enforcement overall. That is critical to our overall mission.”

She adds, “We have been and we will continue to develop opportunities to not only communicate with people, but also really listen to our community. Media relations are a catalyst for that. I’d also like to improve communication and transparency throughout our communities via all forms of social media.”

Sheriff Leon Lott says Yturria was the perfect choice for director though the RCSD had several highly qualified candidates.

“I believe Capt. Yturria’s years of real-world experience and her deft ability to interact with community, military, media and business leaders across a broad spectrum make her the right choice at the right time for us,” says Lott.

In addition to the FBI National Academy, Yturria is a graduate of the S.C. Law Enforcement Commanders School, the S.C. Victim Assistance Academy, and the S.C. Criminal Justice Academy. As a law-enforcement officer she has worked – and continues to work – with federal, state, and local authorities and agencies in a variety of cases involving illegal immigration, drug prevention and human trafficking. She holds several certifications and qualifications including hostage crisis negotiator and statewide peer support team leader. She is an active member of the S.C. Human Trafficking Task Force and the Richland County Anti-Human Trafficking Coalition. And she is bilingual; speaking Spanish fluently.

Yturria works closely with many private non-profit organizations providing services to crime victims. She frequently speaks to organizations and community groups about criminal domestic violence and sexual assaults. And she is a self-defense instructor.

While in the Army, Yturria served as a military police-officer; though her final military assignment was that of executive aide to the commanding general of United States Army–Japan. She was honorably discharged at the rank of sergeant.

Yturria’s husband is a retired U.S. Army Special Forces sergeant major. They have a daughter.


– For more information, please visit the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. at, or contact the RCSD’s Office of Public Information at [email protected].